Currently the doctor of physical therapy degree consists of 3 years of education with both clinical and didactic components interspersed within these 3 years. Many students are paying thousands of dollars to be enrolled in an institution even when they are absent from their school almost 1/3 of this time. Yes, the school is working to place students in clinical affiliations and someone is "grading" your performance out in the clinic, but for many students the costs do not seem to add up. To add insult injury, with lower reimbursement rates and the tightening of federal regulations, physical therapists are not being compensated adequately once they enter the professional world. In this post, John Childs discusses where he believes the future of physical therapy education needs to head. Several schools are already doing longer clinical affiliations where students are receiving scholarships or payment for their services. Mr. Childs also poses the idea of these longer clinical rotations transforming into a post professional residency model. In this model, students would sit for the NPTE after 2 years of schooling and complete a 1 year residency program, similar to medical school. Heathcare policies and models are rapidly changing, will physical therapy education be on target for this change as well? What are your thoughts?
1/31/2013 12:01:53 pm
Very interesting post and reference. But what incentive do the scholastic institutions have to change their current curriculum? I could see this change being implemented on a national scale. But I just don't see that being a top priority in the near future. I'm left visioning our heads in a storm cloud of medicare and direct access affairs for the next few years.
2/5/2013 06:21:21 am
Yeah I probably didn't need to spend $240K at SLU to become a PT, especially when we were paying hundreds of dollars per day while on clinicals to work for other people.
2/5/2013 08:20:51 am
Interesting post and I believe many PT students and many students of various trades that run similar programs share the frustration about tuition expenses while participating in a clinical. I would like to see a change made but I feel unless the APTA, majority of CI's, or President Obama made it an issue the schools won't make a change. Why would they, they get paid tons from students to do very little. I hope something is changed soon
Seth King, CSCS
2/6/2013 11:03:42 pm
Very interesting proposal! Although I would love to see some of this implemented, I must say that I value our progressively increasing ratio of clinical to didactic education as the three years go by. As a a DPT student in Michigan, I also fear that all energy towards professional and/or educational transitions in the near future will be focused on achieving at least some form of direct access--that is... catching up with the rest of our country...
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